The 13th installment of the Currents, Waves and Turbulence Measurement (CWTM) Workshop concluded with great success, showcasing cutting-edge research and innovations in the field. Among the highlights of the event was the presentation of the Best Student Paper Award, recognizing outstanding contributions from young researchers.  This year, the prestigious award went to Rutgers undergraduate student Brendan Henley for his paper titled “Determining the Seasonality of Oceanic eDNA Source Waters”. The paper, selected from a pool of highly competitive submissions, impressed the judges with its novel approach and significant impact on the intersection of physical and biological oceanography. Brendan’s work focused on determining the distance water could travel in the coastal ocean over a 24-hour period.  The analysis was grouped by season and provides context to the environmental DNA sampling that is taking place off New Jersey as part of the NJDEP  Research and Monitoring Initiative.   The goal of the RMI is to ensure that as New Jersey moves towards a clean energy economy, we also adhere to our mandate to protect and responsibly manage New Jersey’s coastal & marine resources.  Brendan’s coauthors included Josh Kohut, Tim Stolarz and Hugh Roarty from Rutgers as well as Jason Adolf from Monmouth University. In addition to the recognition, Brendan also received a cash prize for the award.  The criteria for judging the award included the quality of the science, the quality of the presentation and the relevance to the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. The 2024 CWTM conference brought together researchers and practitioners from around the world to exchange ideas, share insights, and advance the field of ocean measurements. With its focus on cutting-edge research and interdisciplinary collaboration, the event served as a platform for shaping the future of oceanographic measurements.   The CWTM Workshop which takes place every four years, has a rich history of providing a dynamic platform for the global ocean community. This event serves as a catalyst for technical information exchange and fosters collaboration among experts passionate about measuring current, waves, and turbulence. Their mission is to advance the field of Current, Wave, and Turbulence Measurement and Applications by showcasing cutting-edge research and innovations. For more information about the conference, please visit the CWTM website https://cwtm2024.org .

The Oceanography Society (TOS) congratulates the Rutgers Center for Ocean Observing Leadership (RUCOOL) team on its selection as the recipient of the TOS Ocean Observing Team Award. This award recognizes innovation and excellence in sustained ocean observing for scientific and practical applications. The citation on the team’s certificate recognizes RUCOOL for transforming oceanography by sharing their pioneering sampling platforms, sensing methods, and their integration in models and education. Rutgers University’s Center of Ocean Observing Leadership has for over thirty-one years been a leader in oceanography innovating new technologies, exploring the ocean, developing integrated ocean observing/modeling networks, and educating the next generation of oceanographers. RUCOOL is a multi-generational group of senior and junior faculty that together have formed a transdisciplinary group addressing societal needs, promoting public outreach, and helping create an ocean-literate society. RUCOOL has distinguished itself with a focus on data transparency and open access. The representative members of the RUCOOL team recognized for this award are Scott Glenn, Thomas Grothues, Josh Kohut, Alex Lopez, Janice McDonnell, Travis Miles, Daphne Munroe, Grace Saba, and Oscar Schofield. The RUCOOL team’s achievements will be celebrated during The Oceanography Society’s Honors Breakfast taking place on February 21, 2024, during the Ocean Sciences Meeting.

🏆 John P. Craven Mentor Award The John P. Craven Mentor Award is presented to any established MTS Mentor invoking the long and impactful career of John Pina Craven, this award is conferred upon an MTS member who has demonstrated outstanding and sustained service to the field of marine technology through mentorship. Dr. Grace Saba Grace Saba is an Associate Professor at Rutgers University who leads a research group within the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences (DMCS) and serves as faculty in the Center for Ocean Observing Leadership (RUCOOL). She teaches multiple courses at Rutgers, and mentors the independent research of graduate and undergraduate students and post-docs. Her research group utilizes laboratory experiments, field research, and ocean observation to investigate how seawater conditions, including environmental stressors such as warming temperature and ocean acidification, affect the ecology, physiology, distribution, and phenology of coastal marine zooplankton and fishes. Grace co-founded the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Acidification Network (MACAN), serves on the MACAN Steering Committee and Science Working Group, and has been working with the State of New Jersey toward a developing Statewide Ocean Acidification Monitoring Network and more broadly their Ocean Acidification Action Plan. She co-leads the Ocean Health and Ecosystems Task Team for OceanGliders and serves as a member of the Habitat & Ecosystem Subcommittee for the Regional Wildlife Science Collaborative for Offshore Wind.

On May 10th, Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway presented RUCOOL’s Grace K. Saba with the “The Faculty Scholar-Teacher Award.” “Each year these awards honor members of the Rutgers community selected by their colleagues for outstanding contributions to teaching, research, and public service . . . I hope you share our pride in and congratulations for this year’s honorees,” Holloway wrote. According to the university, “The award honors tenured faculty members who have made outstanding synergistic contributions in research and teaching. This award recognizes those who make visible the vital link between teaching and scholarship by contributing to the scholarship of teaching and by bringing together scholarly and classroom activities.” Saba initiates diverse, multidisciplinary projects in order to address both small-scale (individual organism) and large-scale (whole ecosystem) questions with ecological, physiological, and biogeochemical implications. Her broad research interests are in the fields of coastal marine organismal ecology and physiology, with emphasis on how organisms interact with their environment (physical-biological coupling) and other organisms (food web dynamics and predator-prey interactions), how physiological processes impact biogeochemistry (nutrient cycling and carbon sequestration), and how climate change (i.e., ocean acidification, warming) impacts these processes. She applies multiple techniques and collaborates with physical/biological/chemical oceanographers and physiologists, molecular ecologists, fisheries scientists, ocean observers, and climate modelers. She employs an integrative, mechanistic approach and has strong laboratory and field components in her research.

RUCOOL’s Julia Engdahl has won multiple awards for her work last year at NOAA. She won two Director’s Team Awards from NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS). These awards were for work on automating quality control on NOAA’s Physical Oceanographic Real-Time Data System (PORTS) current meter data and for providing vital verified water level data, new API data services, and new and updated sea level projections and scenarios products in support of the 2022 Sea Level Rise Technical Report. Julia also won a NOAA CO-OPS Directors award for her individual work in developing innovative solutions and creative problem solving through programming and code improvements, resulting in more flexible and efficient operational processes related to NOAA’s derived product suite in CO-OPS. Julia was a critical part of two innovation projects over the past year; one to develop a PORTS Currents Analysis Tool (CAT) and the other to automate and otherwise make more efficient the routine processes that are required when transitioning microwave water level technology into operations. Julia is an  is currently working with RUCOOL focused on an array of projects including glider data analysis during hurricanes with support from NOAA IOOS and OAR and integrating onboard processing onto Slocum gliders with support from the Office of Naval Research. Congrats Julia!!

Congratulations to Lauren Cook on winning the Mid Atlantic Chapter of the American Fisheries Society’s Best Student Presentation!!

TEAM EXCELLENCE AWARD  Explorers of the Deep 4-H STEM Challenge Team members include: Janice McDonnell, Marissa Staffen, Matthew Newman, Kasey Walsh, Alesha Vega, Sage Lichtenwalner, Chad Ripberger, Josh Kohut, Douglas Zemeckis, Oscar Schofield, Rachel Lyons, Nicole Waite, Dave Aragon, and Michael Crowley